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Subject: Games that are "wife-friendly." rss

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LJ
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I've been reading a lot of reviews lately in preparation for Secret Santa and it's not uncommon to encounter comments such as "wife-friendly." I often see such tags attached to light, or gateway games. I apologize if it's been discussed before, but I'm curious to know how people feel about this. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly a plus when you and your spouse can enjoy a game together (I've made the same comment myself at some point, I'm sure); it just seems there's a connotation that women like simple games. That's certainly not my experience.
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Bryan Thunkd
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The phrase should probably be "spouse-friendly". I don't think it's meant to imply women like simpler games but rather that non-gaming spouses do.
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maf man
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I just think its a term that means:
take my tastes in games 2nd to this other person I wish to play

For me when I say wife friendly it means games with low amount of impact on a game by their variable set up aka games like dominion are a no-go. My wife is clearly a better gamer than I but I have far more interest in learning and trying games than she does.

but yes spouse friendly is better
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Tyler Gingrich
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I agree with Byran, "spouse-friendly" would be better.

My spouse is not a big gamer. She'll play because she likes to spend the time with me BUT she wants a game where a novice player has a chance to compete with an experienced player.

So, things like Puerto Rico are out even though she could learn the mechanics easily enough.

She likes Pandemic, Ticket To Ride, Terraforming Mars, and Imperial Settlers (so far).

I considered Power Grid but some reviews indicate it's a bit heavier on the math side which is not her strongest suit.

Caverna and/or Feast of Odin are on my list of possibles for her. I worry that they may take "too long" to play. "Too long" in this context is 3 hours for a 2 player game -- outside of the time to explain the rules.

Please feel free to give any more suggestions.
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Sam Cook
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The term is patronizing and bad.
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I agree, not all wives, or not all person for that matter, are the same or have the same tastes for games.

"Wife-friendly" does sound connoted to me, although I agree not everybody would use this expression with patronizing intents. Sometimes, I believe, it's said out of an old social habit that remains, or out of personnal experiences.

But still, I find it easier to recommend games based on what an OP would tell me about the person the OP intends to play with, than just the generic "wife-friendly" term which, actually, says nothing.

Just my two cents
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What an disheartening choice of language.

A better term would be 'casual gamer-friendly' or 'pick-up-and-play'; even 'spouse-friendly' while gender neutral, is meaningless because there are plenty of spouses out there who are as much into games as their partners, as well as pairs who both love games but are into completely different genres.

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Everett
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Spouse friendly is probably a better way to put it. Or Newb-friendly is even better.
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Greg Darcy
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It is not a term I would use. Even spouse friendly is meaningless unless you know my spouse.

If you want to say the game is light, or easy to learn, say so. If my spouse is into heavy war games, and you are describing TtR, then you have given me the wrong idea entirely.
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LJplays wrote:
I've been reading a lot of reviews lately in preparation for Secret Santa and it's not uncommon to encounter comments such as "wife-friendly." I often see such tags attached to light, or gateway games. I apologize if it's been discussed before, but I'm curious to know how people feel about this. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly a plus when you and your spouse can enjoy a game together (I've made the same comment myself at some point, I'm sure); it just seems there's a connotation that women like simple games. That's certainly not my experience.


I believe you're over analyzing a simple request.

The term "wife friendly" by itself is ambiguous at best, and downright devoid of definition at worst. Personally, I see the application of any connotation outside of the unique context of it's use to be a liberal assumption.

Among all the gamers I know, they are almost exclusively male. There are a few wives that will endure games (I'm almost 50), but it's usually in an effort to participate in the social aspect of game night, not a desire to play games by itself. Almost by default, these tend to be simpler games like Yardmaster, Diamonds, Wizard, red7, and if we must - Uno, Skip-Bo, etc. This doesn't mean our wives are incapable of deeper games, just that they don't want to bother with them. It has nothing to do with gender, yet this pattern is repeated at most game nights I attend be it at someone's house or at the FLGS.

Within the specific context of secret santa, if I see a request for "wife friendly" games I would assume simpler. Only because a gamer is participating in Secret Santa - so we know this person is likely a person who will play anything from Small World, to Agricola, to Twlight Struggle, to Vinhos, and upwards. I know my wife wants to throw up every time she sees any of those games set up on a table. Games of a typical gamer's depth reach far beyond that of a casual gamer to flat-out non gamer - or in this instance a person's wife.

I guess the short answer is, if a secret santa participant wishes for a "wife friendly" game I don't think I'd rush to judgement assuming this person is prejudiced against women gamers, rather just knows his situation is such that the woman of his life isn't a gamer like himself. In the context of this request he is asking for games a non-gamer might enjoy. In my experience, this is almost always the wife/girlfriend. I know of women gamers, I know q lot on BGG who participate and write fantastic reviews and are well respected. But even on BGG it seems the vast majority of members are male. It would be interesting to see the numbers out of curiosity.

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Maddest Hatter wrote:
I guess the short answer is, if a secret santa participant wishes for a "wife friendly" game I don't think I'd rush to judgement assuming this person is prejudiced against women gamers, rather just knows his situation is such that the woman of his life isn't a gamer like himself. In the context of this request he is asking for games a non-gamer might enjoy. In my experience, this is almost always the wife/girlfriend. I know of women gamers, I know q lot on BGG who participate and write fantastic reviews and are well respected. But even on BGG it seems the vast majority of members are male. It would be interesting to see the numbers out of curiosity.

This is the problem, see. The request and phrasing doesn't have to have any conscious prejudice behind it. I would hope that no-one would assume this hypothetical person is prejudiced against women, gamers or otherwise. I expect that many people have the same experience as you of wives/girlfriends that aren't gamers. I also agree that the majority of BGG members are probably male.

None of that makes the use of the term "wife-friendly" games OK. It's a lazy shorthand way of communicating that only works while those conditions remain true, and it can only help reinforce those conditions. It speaks only to people in the same demographic as the author.

You can't make the conclusions you do, and also state:
Quote:
The term "wife friendly" by itself is ambiguous at best, and downright devoid of definition at worst. Personally, I see the application of any connotation outside of the unique context of it's use to be a liberal assumption.

You yourself just assigned a bunch of connotations to its use, based on your own experience and the assumed target audience. You are contradicting yourself.

EDIT: Hope that didn't come off as too aggressive - I like to think our time in Twilight Struggle has earned me the right to be direct =)
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Bryan Thunkd
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Maddest Hatter wrote:
The term "wife friendly" by itself is ambiguous at best, and downright devoid of definition at worst.
A statement you followed by unambiguously defining the term in exactly the same way I would have. Given that it connotes a meaning that we both knew exactly, I don't see any problems with the definition at all.
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    The phrase is condescending and a lazy way to describe what you're looking for. It has no definition beyond a somewhat-agreed-upon stereotype.

    Ignore it.

             S.


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Sagrilarus wrote:
The phrase is condescending and a lazy way to describe what you're looking for.
All defined words are a lazy way to avoid using the full definition in preference of a single reference to that definition. This is a feature of language not a critique of it.
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    Yeah, but it's not a defined word, it's a vague phrase. Would anybody here care to take a swing at what husband-friendly means?

    If the gentleman doesn't want to provide something more useful send whatever you want. If he chooses to indicate simpler rules, or less confrontational (or more confrontational in my wife's case), or older, then you have something to go on. Short of knowing his wife he's hoping you see the stereotype the same way he does.

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Bryan Thunkd
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Sagrilarus wrote:
Yeah, but it's not a defined word, it's a vague phrase.
That's the evolution of language. Words start as things that have agreed upon meanings and then eventually get formally defined.

Sagrilarus wrote:
Would anybody here care to take a swing at what husband-friendly means?
The exact same thing that "wife-friendly" does but from a gamer wife's perspective instead of a gamer husband's. I agree that "Spouse-friendly" should be the preferred term.

Sagrilarus wrote:
Short of knowing his wife he's hoping you see the stereotype the same way he does.
He's referencing a commonly used phrase which has a fairly agreed upon meaning. We use phrases like this to shortcut the need to fully explain ourselves when a single word or phrase will do so more efficiently.

In language it is possible that we'll be misunderstood. We can make ourselves more clear by elaborating, but at the expense of brevity. And that's the trade off that we always have in language. Just because a phrase isn't completely unambiguous doesn't invalidate it. That's not how language works. We almost always use shortcuts that could be misunderstood, but they largely work. Occasionally there is a miscommunication, but it works far more often than it doesn't. You can insist that "wife-friendly" isn't perfectly clear, but if most of the people using it have a pretty good understanding of what is meant then it's good enough. A concept has been communicated. Maybe not perfectly, but we rarely need perfect communication.
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Thunkd wrote:
He's referencing a commonly used phrase which has a fairly agreed upon meaning. We use phrases like this to shortcut the need to fully explain ourselves when a single word or phrase will do so more efficiently.


    I have a pretty good idea of how language works. Women find this particular commonly used phrase offensive because it's vague and puts them in a box that they may not fit into. It's a stereotype. At that point it's counterproductive.

    I like games that appeal to the middle-aged. Some recommendations please.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Sagrilarus wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
He's referencing a commonly used phrase which has a fairly agreed upon meaning. We use phrases like this to shortcut the need to fully explain ourselves when a single word or phrase will do so more efficiently.


    I have a pretty good idea of how language works. Women find this particular commonly used phrase offensive because it's vague and puts them in a box that they may not fit into.
That's why I prefer "spouse-friendly".

Sagrilarus wrote:
It's a stereotype.
If we substitute "spouse-friendly" do you still have an issue with it?

Sagrilarus wrote:
At that point it's counterproductive.
What do you mean by this? I'd agree that it might be offensive, or unfairly paint some wives (or spouses if we use my preferred term) incorrectly... but that doesn't make it counterproductive. It still effectively sums up a common situation... that many gamers have spouses who aren't gamers and prefer lighter games. Sure, saying that gamer's spouses prefer lighter games is a sterotype, and there are many gamer's spouses who are also gamers themselves, but that doesn't lessen the utility of the term. When someone asks for a spouse-friendly game, I know that they're referring to a game that works for someone who isn't that much of a gamer. I don't sit there in agony unable to figure out if they're referring to someone's spouse who also happens to be a gamer and wonder if I should recommend a more complex game on the off chance that they meant something other than the commonly agreed upon meaning of the term. We're all capable of understanding that stereotypes aren't universally true, like calling a perfume flowery but not meaning it smells like the corpse flower, and yet we're still able to derive meaning from a phrase even when it uses a stereotype we recognize isn't universally true. (It's unlikely most people saying "wife-friendly games" are referencing super-complicated games and you know it.)

Sagrilarus wrote:
I like games that appeal to the middle-aged. Some recommendations please.
In context of boardgaming the phrase "middle-age friendly" games doesn't have a commonly understood meaning. In that way it's not like "wife-friendly" at all. You're trying to disparage apples by attacking oranges.

A better comparison would be a term that has a commonly understood meaning like "colorblind-friendly". This is still ambiguous because there are many forms of colorblindness and in varying degrees. The term taken literally has almost no application because short of a white/gray/black color scheme or complete iconography on every colored element (including cubes and player pieces) you won't be colorblind-friendly to someone who perceives no color. Yet we often use the term to signal games that avoid overt red/green and blue/green colorblindness. Even then, many games are somewhat colorblind-friendly for people who have standard levels/types of colorblindness but are still problematic for people with extreme colorblindness.

So it's not a perfect term, but we still use it. I've been asked many times if a game is colorblind-friendly, and despite it not being a perfect term, I understand what is probably meant enough to answer whether a game will cause issues for a player.

You're attempting to imply that "wife-friendly" has no meaning, but that's simply not true. It may not be formally defined, or exactly perfect, but I have a pretty good idea what is meant by the term. A random group of BGG'ers would probably all divide my games into very similar piles if I asked them to pull out the "wife-friendly" games.

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Thunkd wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
He's referencing a commonly used phrase which has a fairly agreed upon meaning. We use phrases like this to shortcut the need to fully explain ourselves when a single word or phrase will do so more efficiently.


    I have a pretty good idea of how language works. Women find this particular commonly used phrase offensive because it's vague and puts them in a box that they may not fit into.
That's why I prefer "spouse-friendly".


    At that point the phrase has become absurdly meaningless, on par with "human-friendly".

    If you want a game that's light, ask for light. If you want a game that tells a story, ask for tells a story. Spend just one minute of your time to explain yourself clearly or you're going to get whatever shelf toad the sender has lying around. Clarity brings happiness.
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Sam Cook
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Assuming the vast majority of BGG users are straight dudes, "spouse-friendly" just seems like a sneaky way of saying "wife-friendly". Even if that's not what is intended, that's how everyone's brain is going to read it. Just my 2
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"Why so serious?"

All this talk and dissection over someone using the term, "wife friendly?" I'm literally laughing out loud.

If it's me? Go ahead and use the term. I see absolutely nothing offensive about it whatsoever. I understand what it means due to the context it was used in. Also, due to how many times I see it on BGG. I don't think it has a derogatory meaning whatsoever. In fact I think it's a stretch to get there if you do. Since when does someone who only like simple games become a bad person? In fact, I hate the connotation that people who only like simple games are sub-par!

Wait...what happens when a girl asks for a "husband friendly" gift? Can you possibly figure out what she would mean there? Or do you need the context of the question? Without knowing how or where that question is asked, the question is devoid of definition. Or so ambiguous that the answers can be so far off the mark that it supports the point.

at the end - who cares? Seriously? And if you're participating in a Secret Santa and find yourself offended by one of the more common terms found on BGG (yes, "wife friendly" is tossed around on here regularly) then that's just a tough beat. Of go ahead and buy Le Havre for the person.

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Moon Flower
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Can someone help me find a boyfriend friendly gift?
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Benkyo wrote:


You can't make the conclusions you do, and also state:
Quote:
The term "wife friendly" by itself is ambiguous at best, and downright devoid of definition at worst. Personally, I see the application of any connotation outside of the unique context of it's use to be a liberal assumption.

You yourself just assigned a bunch of connotations to its use, based on your own experience and the assumed target audience. You are contradicting yourself.

EDIT: Hope that didn't come off as too aggressive - I like to think our time in Twilight Struggle has earned me the right to be direct =)


Firstly, the "connotations" used in my personal example are actual facts for me. This is my world and how it is. There is nothing implied by it, it's fact. Much in the same way I would say that pizza with black olives is terrible. I'm not saying it's universally terrible, I'm not suggesting a connotation that it's terrible, I'm stating that for me personally I don't like pizza with black olives. I think I didn't write it correctly.

It was meant to point out that, within the realm of the context the question was used, it' not just a connotation, it's borderline common sense what was meant. The Secret Santa request isn't implying anything, he is hoping the reader understands what 99.9% of BGG reads it for. Personal offense to the term notwithstanding. The second instance I use suggesting the term "wife friendly" is possibly devoid of any definition out of context would be this:

"I need a gift that is wife friendly" and having that question asked somewhere else, with no other context. Not on BGG, not anywhere. Seeing it on a blank billboard. At that point it's wide open to interpretation and - if you're stretching - bigotry. Ehen that question is asked on BGG, a male dominated site, the term "wife friendly" is defined as games that aren't too deep. The fact that anyone would apply the connotation that people who like simple games are inferior to others is probably a worse assumption than the original argument.

The fact that people are happier with the term, "spouse friendly" just suggests that they're okay with the definition, just not that it's specific to a gender.

And no offense. We agree to disagree.

 
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Moon_Flower wrote:
Can someone help me find a boyfriend friendly gift?
A friendly wife?
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Thunkd wrote:
Moon_Flower wrote:
Can someone help me find a boyfriend friendly gift?
A friendly wife?


i mean.. game related
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